Video footage shows a man crawling outside a hospital in Canada after doctors assumed he was “fecking” his intense leg pain.
According to CBC News, David Ponton, 45, is seen dragging himself out of Toronto’s Humber River Hospital.
“I felt that I was doing it wrong because I was bipolar,” Ponton told CBC of the April 2018 incident. The news broadcaster has released surveillance footage only after receiving it.
“There are no words to describe what I went through that night.”
While investigating at the hospital, Ponton – who was later diagnosed with a rare nerve disorder – told staff that he takes medication for bipolar disorder but has been stable for seven years.
But revealing his mental health history, a doctor ordered an MRI and handed him a call to a psychiatrist, CBC News reported.
According to medical records obtained by the Canadian broadcaster, despite complaining about physical suffering to Ponton, the psychiatrist wrote that “anxiety” was his most prominent symptom.
Another note in hospital records was Ponton’s visit due to his “bipolar” and even fails to mention the trouble in his walking.
When the MRI revealed no abnormal results, a psychiatrist discharged Ponton – forcing him to crawl out of the hospital on his hands and knees.
“The pain was unbearable,” Ponton said. “Being able to walk properly was impossible.”
At points in the newly-obtained footage, Ponton is shown struggling on the ground as a nurse is standing next to him.
“The nurse kept saying, ‘You’re a big boy! You’re strong! Come, big boy, stand up!'” Ponton said. “I was angry. I was feeling completely helpless. ”
Ponton took about 20 minutes to get out and reach the security guard and then helped him to the taxi.
An ambulance later took him to Toronto Western Hospital, where a neurologist diagnosed him with Guillain-Barre syndrome, a disorder in which a person’s immune system attacks their nerves.
Experts point out that medical staff often overlook serious physical health problems in people with mental illness.
“We are failing this population badly,” said Dr. Vicky Stergiopoulos, psychiatrist and physician chief at the Center for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto. “[The system] Is flawed and we need to do a better job of seeing people as human beings. “
Vanessa Burkowski, chief nursing executive at Toronto’s Humber River Hospital, later apologized, Ponton’s family told the outlet.
Hospital spokesman Joe Gorman sent a statement stating that the hospital is “very upset” by the incident and that the staff involved were “dealt with accordingly.”